More apprentices than ever recommend vocational routes

Posted on 5 Nov 2018 by Maddy White

The number of UK apprentices viewing their apprenticeships as a genuine career path has increased by almost 70%, according to extensive new research from over 15,000 individuals.

The report showed a two-thirds increase in those citing apprenticeships as a valid career path – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

An analysis of the post-apprenticeship data – reportedly the biggest survey of its kind ever undertaken – generated over five years, reveals how more apprentices than ever are recommending their route as a career path.

Apprentices willing to suggest their programme’s employer to a friend has also reportedly averaged 98% in the past five years.

This figure comes in despite of the fact parents are actually discouraging their children from working in the manufacturing sector. Even though, manufacturing apprentices are calling for young people to undertake apprenticeships in the sector.

The report – generated by and analysed by Crescendo Consulting – shows a two-thirds increase in those citing general apprenticeships as a valid career path.

The decline in apprentices doing “admin” tasks and focusing on more meaningful work revealed in the research suggests companies are now reframing apprenticeships as a more credible, future talent pipeline.

The Budget

Money Finance Budget 2018 investment invest - image courtesy of Depositphotos
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the budget last week – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the Budget last week, and it included a collection of measures to help stimulate business investment and promote talent.

He announced a £695m initiative to help small firms hire apprentices, and that businesses taking on apprentices will only have to contribute 5% towards the training, rather than the previous 10%.

With regards to more general employment, he estimated that 800,000 more jobs will be created by 2023, with unemployment forecast to fall to its lowest rate in over four decades in 2019 (3.9%).

Wages are too growing at their fastest pace in a decade (3.1%), although they are still below their pre-recession peak. The OBR says there will be real-wage growth every year for the next five years though.

Read how the Budget will impact manufacturers in full here.

The report established seven aspects needed for quality programmes

  1. Inspiring leadership
  • Management is the most important factor for making apprentices feel valued according to the report.
  • More than a third (37%) of apprenticeship reviews in 2018 point to the benefit of management appreciation – an increase from 30% five years ago.
  1. Building skills for work and life
  • More apprentices are developing a range of valuable career skills rather than performing lower-skilled tasks. Only 7% mentioned “admin” as a daily activity – the lowest figure since the research began.
  1. AMI's competition is looking to promote apprenticeships through social media - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
    Management is the most important factor for making apprentices feel valued  – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

    Valuable experience 

  • While apprentices are enjoying certain elements of their programme – such as being part of a workplace team (33%), they are finding comparatively less fun in other activities, such as working with customers (5%) and software and programming (1%).
  1. Creating passionate people
  • Apprentices – when giving advice to others based on their apprenticeship experience – put thorough preparation first (21%), but followed it closely by “show passion” (19%) and “be confident” (17%).
  1. Cushioning the cost  
  • When asked whether the apprenticeship salary/package met their costs, more than a third (38%) of apprentices find travel costs challenging. 
  1. Stimulating apprentices outside of the workplace
  • Opportunities to engage in activities outside work show that sports and socialising (mentioned by 28% of all apprentices who responded) still dominate. Meanwhile, interest in volunteering has increased by more than 80%.
  1. Having guidance within programmes
  • Using workplace mentors to support apprentices is at its highest level in five years. However, over the whole research period only 14% of apprentices felt the mentoring aspect of their programmes was well-managed, behind training (50%) and induction (31%).